No matter our race, ethnic background, or the car we drive, we ALL think we're above average drivers. What makes a bad one?
No matter our race, ethnic background, or the car we drive, we ALL think we're above average drivers. What makes a bad one?
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Every driver I nearly got into an accident into when it wasn't my fault, was drunk, violent, insane, impatient and honking repeatedly, or paying far too much attention to their cellphone.
Oh and then there's the Texan summer heat that makes people delirious. That's when I have to drive either stupidly early in the morning or late at night.
TL;DR: F**king rednecks.
I think most of us have our "bad driver" moments. I know that a lot of people still talk on their cells even though it's illegal now. I know a lot of people pass on the left, crossing over 2 yellow lines, even though thats both illegal and stupid; and lets not forget the one that happens all the time: Drinking and driving.
Personally I try to stay diligent while on the road and I drive defensively.
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A short person and a little car! I've failed my exam 3 times already. One more, and I need to take a class. I think its because I get nervous around the instructor.
I ride a motorcycle and I have to be extra vigilant because it can only take a second of non-concentration from a cage driver for me to end up as a splat on the road.
Seriously, I think the amount of road accidents would decrease if every car driver had to ride a motorcycle first. You go from being nice and comfortable to being completely exposed to the elements and essentially invisible.
Last edited by Sylvia H.; April 28th, 2012 at 06:13 AM.
People who speed in parking lots. Ignoring that it's one of the worse places in the world to have a fender bender due to parking lots being private property; people are trying to back out and pull into spots. Speeding around a corner to smash into someone pulling out a spot and had no way to see you = BAD!
People who tail even when you're in the far right lane. Drunk Drivers. People who don't signal. I could go on...
This is all very helpful to me... I need to PASS my driver's test. I'm almost 24!!!
And those who don't dim their lights when driving past another car at night. Not a major offense, but sudden headlight glares are kind of annoying (and possibly dangerous, if you have a lot of them water stains on your windshield like I do -___-;;; ).
Let's see, a quick checklist of dangerous, wreckless driving:
1. Tailgating - one of the absolute dumbest things you can ever do, and many people do it. It's the simple, pigheaded way of telling the person in front of you, you want to go faster. But the person in front of you doesn't care. He/She won't speed up. So either pass the person, or stay behind him, but don't tailgate, or you could rear-end him and it'll be your own stupid fault. Doing this in rain or snow is exponentially dumber, and I've witnessed at least 20 deadly accidents involving rain and this one simple mistake.
2. Driving while sleepy. If you want to fall asleep, pull over somewhere, find a motel, take a nap. Go back on the road when you're alert and safe. Tricks to keep yourself awake, like singing to the radio, drinking Coke, or blasting the air conditioner do not really help. I've been in near accidents involving sleeping/weaving/veering drivers. My brother once fell asleep at the wheel, and we ended up in the median of a highway, almost going into a river. One time I felt sleepy, so I pulled off the highway, found the nearest quiet place, which was a cemetery, and napped - no bad dreams or anything.
3. Keep your tires well cared for. Them and your brakes are your most important safety equipment. The ability to stop short prevents most accidents. I recommend the stickiest ones you can get.
4. Speeding... The current landspeed record is 763 MPH http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_speed_record
You're not going to beat this in your mom's SUV. Things that limit you from achieving this speed are: your vehicle, your driving ability, the road surface, turns, obstacles, and weather.
Your Vehicle: Unless you have a car over 3,000 lbs, with a sport suspension and over 170 hp, you shouldn't be driving more than say 75 MPH, regardless of the highway speed limit or the traffic around you. Audis, BMW's, porsches, Subarus, etc. are all finely tuned for higher speeds. They have larger wheels, farther apart, and they're balanced for it. That's why they're more expensive. An SUV (any kind), van, minivan, or pick-up is not meant to cope with these speeds, and the higher center of gravity makes them a rolling hazard. Their greater weight gives them longer stop lengths. SUV's are classified as trucks in terms of gas and safety standards, which, to the best of my knowledge, are less than for cars. On the other end of the spectrum, any compact car lighter than 2500 lb's can't go over 75 MPH because the wind will blow it around like a toy, depending on the car's aerodynamics.
Your Driving Ability: Everyone likes their own driving. Three things to consider: What do others say of your driving? Do they make jokes about it? What's the dumbest thing you ever did as a driver? Okay, how long ago did you do that? Finally, we drive to the best of our ability when covering the places we know best. Any time you go to a new place, pay extra attention not to miss a sign or run blindly through a dangerous intersection.
Road Surface: There are a variety of kinds, often with potholes, but the main thing to worry about is the way they lean/slant, especially around corners. Many teens get a little experience, think they're a professional racer, and take a turn too fast, losing control, and totaling their first car. On a gravel road, you're not going to be able to take turns as fast, and on a thick sand road, you don't want to stop, or you'll get stuck. If you regularly drive around a sandy place, keep wooden planks in your trunk to stick under your tires in this event.
Curves: Until you get familiar with driving at average town/highway speeds AND you know the area, just follow the recommended speed signs. They're based on the safe speed for an RV, but you never know how hard a curve is until you drive through it. Ooh especially fun is when some dumbass coming the opposite direction takes a curve too fast and slides into your lane. Good luck avoiding that one.
Obstacles: Anyone know the difference between a deserted street, and one filled with parked cars? Apparently not, because the speed limits are always the same, and people always tear through both of them. The difference is diminished visability, and the chance of some kid jumping out after a ball right in front of you. You have to imagine a little 4 year-old behind every large obstacle you come across, waiting to pop out, and go slow enough so you can stop short, without veering into oncoming traffic. Other dangerous obstacles involve sudden stops on the highway, as cars enter morning traffic - it can be sudden, especially involving road construction. When you come to a "brake-check" be sure to check your rear-view mirror. The sleepy/dumbass driver behind you may not notice he has to stop. I was almost killed once by a truck barrelling at me. I had to duck into the breakdown lane on the left.
Weather conditions: the worst I know of is sleet or hail. Anything that can punch holes through your car's roof is not good. While sleet is not that strong, it makes the most slippery surface you can possibly drive on. You need to go at a snails place, or you'll just slide off the road - it's worse than regular ice, also dangerous. Heavy rain/flooded streets are also not the best time to be driving the posted speed limit, or above. Snow, on the other hand, while slippery is a ton of fun to drive on, especially while it's snowing. Just go really slow, do it at night, and you'll feel like you're playing Star Wars with the snow coming in at you like stars.
Last edited by TASmith; May 22nd, 2011 at 04:41 PM.
Anyway, a tailgater usually makes me drive slower. Eventually they get the point. It really sucks when I'm on the highway and it's some 18-wheeler though.
Running stop signs is also a bad idea. I remember one time I was making a left turn on a quiet, suburban street. I saw a truck coming toward me, but he had a stop sign. I was in the middle of the turn when I saw him fly through the stop sign and screech to a halt in front of me, visably upset at having to stop. In his mind I should've waited for him to pass before turning, and the gun rack in his truck kept me from pointing out the stop sign - Arkansas.
Fun Fact - Everywhere in America except in New York, whoever stops first at a 4 way stop gets to go first. In New York, whoever stops first is letting the other driver go. And in Slovakia, at any intersection involving stop signs, it doesn't matter who stops first. It only matters who is turning left, and who's going straight. If you want to turn left and there are a line of cars opposite you, going straight, you have to wait for every one of them.
In Kuwait when I was there, people coming onto a round-a-bout had right of way (instead of those leaving), made for some nice jams. Also it helped to have a passenger risk having their arm sheered off by sticking it out to get the car off it.
Also not paying attention to what other drivers are doing even if it doesn't directly affect you.
When another driver on the lane next to you has stopped before a crosswalk, you're not supposed to ignore him/her and zoom over the crosswalk because the reason the other driver stopped is to, most likely, let a pedestrian walk over the crosswalk. Got once hit by a car that way and seen way more near-misses than I'd want.
Also what makes a bad driver is forgetting the simple things like an amber light after green means 'Slow down and prepare to stop' NOT "Speed up now, must make it through before the light turns red" I've been hit by a car before because of that reason (and had problems with my hip ever since) and countless near misses (grrr cars!!) rant over. ta
Bad athletes, the self-absorbed, and people who are unable or unwilling to discipline their thoughts and emotions.
At least Icarus tried!
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As a pedestrian I also find it irritating when I'm standing at an unregulated crossing and no one bothers to stop and let me cross. I think it's even in the law. It's not so bad on smaller streets, drivers are a lot more polite there, but as soon as it's a multi-lane road I may have to wait a long time. Usually get across when there are no cars coming rather than anyone stopping.
I was listening to my child play with his Matchbox cars one afternoon. He had one group of professional race car drivers and one group of "texting douche-bag students with dogs on their laps". There were many explosions from the latter group.
How to be a good driver...
1. Be considerate to others around you.
We all have the tendency to act like morons when we're in our little driving cocoons. We think of ourselves as perfect drivers and everyone else as retarded assholes. Stop it, we're all retarded assholes . We re all human beings, we all make mistakes, misjudge things, get distracted, or even (now and again) have a good reason for being in a hurry. Do yourself and you blood pressure a favour and stop taking every little infraction on you, or the highway code, as a personal assault on your honour. Get with the zen thing man (as Flynn would say)
2. Be responsible for your own safety.
Just because the rules say you have the right of way, or the right to be somewhere, doesn't mean you should. The number of times I see tiny cars or bicycles squeeze up the inside of huge trucks amazes me. I'm sure the truck driver sees them MOST of the time, but once in a blue moon me doesn't, and that can end up with someone under his rear wheel.